How to Create and Share an Infographic Resume [Infographic]

The modern job search is incredibly competitive, and technology has made it easier for your resume and job application to be overlooked and discarded before you even make it to the interview.

Luckily, technology is also here to help. There’s no longer a template for how to apply for a job — you can use social media, websites, and even interactive campaigns to get your name noticed by a recruiter.

One resume format you may not have considered? Infographics. A highly engaging and visually appealing infographic that explains your skills and qualifications might help you stand out in the crowd and serve as a work sample when applying for a job.New Call-to-action

Venngage produced an infographic about how and why to use an infographic resume the next time you start the job search. The infographic is full of tips and tricks for making your visual resume as impactful and beautiful as possible.

It’s important to note that an infographic resume won’t be appropriate for all job applications. If you submit a resume in this format through an automated system, you could disqualify yourself if the technology can’t read visual information, so it’s best to stick to the format prescribed by the job posting.

Infographic resumes are a great fit for creative job titles that you’re able to submit directly to a recruiter or hiring manager via email so you can ensure they personally receive it.

Take a look below to see if this type of creative CV would make sense for your next application. If so, grab your infographic templates at the bottom and get to designing.

Infographic on how to brainstorm, create, format, share, and present an infographic resume when applying to a job

What do you think? Ready to take your resume to the next level? Grab some starter templates below.

15 free infographic templates in powerpoint

15 free infographic templates in powerpoint

from Marketing


Instagram Might (Finally) Be Fixing Its Algorithm

Almost exactly two years ago, Instagram made changes to its algorithm that left some users, in a word, dissatisfied.

The changes would modify the algorithm so that posts no longer appeared in chronological order on a user’s feed, but rather, surface pictures and videos that it thought might be of greater interest.

This, like any other algorithm change, was likely based largely on a user’s behavior on Instagram — who the person followed, which posts the person liked, and so on.

It left content creators upset — including celebrity personality Kylie Jenner.

But now, Instagram might be backtracking.

Today, the visual content-sharing app announced that it would be changing its algorithm once again, so that more recent posts are could appear first in a user’s feed. These modifications, the statement said, will “give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely.”

It’s also testing a “New Posts” feature, which is essentially a button that allows users to manually refresh their feeds, rather than having the app update it automatically. Want to see new posts? Tap the button. Otherwise, don’t touch it, and your feed will stay right where you left off, Instagram says.

The announcement comes on the same day that Instagram announced it will be allowing users to place hyperlinked hashtags and tagged profiles in their bios.

Source: Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which has been experiencing a host of PR issues following last week’s allegations that personal user data was misused by analytics company Cambridge Analytica.

Henry Franco, HubSpot’s social campaign strategy associate, points out that this shift is reminiscent of Facebook’s own algorithm changes in January to place a greater emphasis on content from friends and family in News Feeds. 

“‘Newer’ versus ‘popular’ means preferential placement won’t be given to brands,” he says, “but to whoever has posted most recently.”

The announcements arrive among a host of issues for Instagram’s competing app Snapchat, which has been experiencing its own blowback following a redesign.

Earlier today, it was reported that Instagram might be working to emulate Snapchat’s Snapcodes feature, which allows users to scan codes to find profiles or content on the app.

Instagram’s version, which is rumored to be called Nametag, would permit a create a similar capability, giving content creators another method of gaining followers by letting them scan a visual code on print or other materials. 

Starting today, users will be able to add hyperlinked hashtags and tagged profiles in their bios — with the caveat that any tagged profiles will receive a notification of such and can untag themselves if desired.

The New Posts feature and possible algorithm changes appear to only be in the testing stages at this point, though Instagram says it will announce more “improvements” in the coming month.

As for the rumors — I’ll be keeping an eye on that. Questions? Feel free to reach out on Twitter.

from Marketing

Why Is Everyone So Obsessed With Bots?

It’s so interesting to watch classic films, isn’t it?

I’m a big fan of the genre, and always have been. But as my time working in tech progresses, I’m particularly drawn to the ones that were, in their own way, predictive. Futuristic. What was then science fiction.

What’s behind my fascination is how much we are growing into and making a reality what was once thought to be fiction — something dramatically forecasted through art, literature, and film to be a world unlikely to be witnessed for many generations.

And yet, here we are.

Within this science fiction was a prevalence of robot characters, whether villains, protagonists, or those who supported the stories’ heroes — enough so that we once dedicated an entire post to them.

To this day, we’re still obsessed with bots — only now, most of us use them on a day-to-day basis, whether we realize it or not. That really came to the surface at SXSW, where I attended panel after panel on the topic, and was lucky to speak with the creators of some of the newest, most notable bots to hit the market.

I had to know: Why are we so infatuated with bots?

Here’s what I think — and what the experts had to say about it.

Why Are We So Obsessed With Bots?

The Difference Between Bots and Artificial Intelligence

First things first: It’s very easy to lump bots and artificial intelligence (AI) together as the same type of technology. But they’re not.

I sat down with Emily Withrow, Quartz Bot Studio editor, to clear things up. This bot was unveiled at SXSW, introducing a personal messaging experience for Quartz readers on Messenger to interact with news, projects, and content the brand calls “Obsessions”: magnified looks into the most interesting stories and events taking place in the world.

When I asked Withrow how she would delineate AI from bots, she explained the latter is a type of technology that can — but doesn’t always — inform and enhance the former.

“AI is a tool that bots can use, but it’s not part of the package,” she said. “I think of a bot as the postal worker — the delivery of content, and the back-and-forth in the delivery and fetching of content.”

“How smart” you want to make that delivery and fetching of content, Withrow said, is where AI comes in, especially when it comes to how the bot will respond to user input. That’s where intelligence tools like natural language processing (NLP) can help the bot interpret what a user is saying.

But it also works with non-text user input. Let’s say, for instance, a user sends a photo to a non-human bot (which actually happens quite a bit — more on that later). “Having some [artificial] intelligence,” Withrow explained, can help the bot determine “what the photograph is when users send it in,” and respond accordingly.

So, now that we’ve cleared that up — let’s touch on why people are sending photos to non-human bots in the first place, and what that says about our growing obsession with them.

Non-Human Content Sharing

Hold up, I thought. Do people really send the Quartz Bot pictures?

Yes, explained John Keefe, a Quartz Bot Studio developer and product manager — but luckily, “Google vision API does a ‘safe scan’ of the pictures that people send to the bots … for free.”


But it did raise an interesting point — why are people sending photos to the bots? Is it out of pure curiosity, or is it to actually engage with the bot?

As it turns out, it might be the latter. At a panel discussion around what’s next in how we interact with bots, Dashbot Co-Founder and CEO Arte Merritt noted that out of all the photos sent to bots, throughout his research, he’s found selfies are the most common.

What that tells us, he said, is that people treat something as seemingly superficial as a weather bot “like a person, and sent it pictures like it would to a friend.”

Which only led to more questions, including one from panel moderator Shara Tibken, a senior reporter with CNET. “What about emotional attachments?” she asked. “Do you see a day when these become our therapists or our friends?”

Well, maybe — and that’s where the AI comes in. Take self-driving cars, for instance, which could serve as one of the most extreme examples of AI-powered robots. Only, instead of chatting with you on a platform like Messenger, they get you from point A to point B on major roads.

And while it’s pre-programmed to be able to respond to certain inputs or detections, like a chatbot would be, it’s also predicted that autonomous vehicles will learn more about its user(s) to create a personalized, humanized experience — similarly to how a friend would, said Niveus co-founder Tim Cutting.

“If you truly have a friend in the car, it knows your body language, how warm it is outside, and your favorite music to recommend,” he said. “I think the AI should get to that.”

So maybe that’s why we’re so obsessed with bots — because it helps to humanize objects and brands and allows us to engage with them in a way we never could before.

The result of sending a dog photo to the TechCrunch Bot

It’s a fascinating, but understandable, phenomenon for someone of my generation, who grew up watching movies like Brave Little Toaster — essentially a two-hour anthropomorphization of home appliances. That was part of the science fiction I alluded to earlier: the fantasy that non-human objects like toasters and electric blankets could be happy and sad, just like the rest of us.

As strange as it sounds, that type of story caused me to empathize with what were essentially machines. And while it could be dismissed as little more than an animated children’s film about the misadventures of a vacuum cleaner and its friends in the journey back home, it does appear that we’ve come full circle.

That’s because of the ways we humanize these machines today — in the form of conversational bots.

The Humanization of Brands — by Way of Bot

By humanizing inanimate objects and brands by way of bots, said Intuit CMO Lucas Watson at another panel discussion, you’re creating another method of building brand trust.

“As a brand, you have to think about where you sit on the friend spectrum,” he explained. “How deep a relationship do I want to have with my customer? What permission do I have to go there? What have I done to build that trust?”

And building a human engagement method, like being able to naturally converse with a bot, can help brands get to that point, added co-panelist Kristen Berman of Duke Common Cents Lab.

“You could get a bot to answer a question for you, and get humans to trust it,” she said. “I think we’re getting to that.”

Berman used the example of a human user prompting a bot with the query, “How to break up with someone.” For something like a search engine, those keywords are likely not new, nor is the human propensity to seek expertise and advice for doing so online.

But the idea of asking a chatbot how to do that — one that isn’t necessarily powered by AI, NLP, or machine learning — is fairly recent. And, said Keefe, by paying attention to this behavior, brands actually stand to benefit, especially when it comes to building a better, more humanized bot experience and interaction.

“We have an open white box where people can write anything — and people and other bots do,” he explained. “But, done well, you can learn a lot from that about what people are actually looking for.”


It turns out that “Sephora” isn’t short for “philosophy”

Okay, so maybe it’s not the responsibility of a weather bot to give advice to users on ending relationships. But it does signify the next phase of our increasingly digital habits of communicating and building relationships. What began as social networking and online dating has evolved into asking home speakers for nearby restaurant recommendations and, it seems, robotic meteorologists for personal advice.

And when I think about the idea of users sending selfies to bots, I have to wonder how different it is from, say, posting selfies on Instagram. Sure, we do that to get a response and engagement from a human audience, but what do we put more emphasis on: the audience itself, or the response and engagement?

At another panel discussion about what social media users want, Instagram Product Designer Josh Dickens emphasized the importance of the response to users.

“If you respond,” he said, “I know that you care about me and you’re with me.”

In full transparency, Dickens was speaking to that notion as a response from the people who users care about the most. But what that looks like for each person is different, whether it’s friends and family, or a crowd of adoring strangers. And when examining our evolving behavior with and around bots, it seems like that’s what’s most important to us: the response.

So, I’ll Ask Again: Why Are We So Obsessed With Bots?

Well, maybe that’s just it: the response. Bots almost always get back to us, and when they do, it’s typically in a way that was designed to be helpful, even if pre-programmed or it’s artificially intelligent.

But that’s key to remember when building a bot, Withrow says, especially when composing the copy it will automate to engage with users.

“The way you construct a sentence affects the way people respond,” she said. “I try not to leave room for interpretation in terms of tone. The bot is never sarcastic. And it’s never really negative, either.”

And for Keefe, that’s one of the biggest points of pride for the Quartz Bot: “A lot of the content is written by very talented humans. That’s super key.”

In fact, that’s where the team spends a good chunk, if not most, of its time.

“What we spend a lot of our time on is not training a model to answer the right way, completely, or to have a completely unmoderated conversation with a human,” he said. “Writing the scripts and the dialogue … that’s where the bulk of our work is.”

Which brings up another crucial point for marketers, especially those who are hoping to integrate a bot into its brand trust and humanization strategy. “If you’re having a really good experience with a bot,” Keefe said, “it’s because someone has written really good things.”

Around here, we’d call that a pretty “inboundy” concept. If you’ve read our work before, you know how much importance we place on quality content, including that which largely involves the written word. It’s content designed to be helpful and engaging — just like a good bot experience.

“Bots help us build better relationships,” Connor Cirillo, HubSpot’s conversational marketing manager, told me, “so humans can have valuable and delightful interactions.”

And if it seems weird, that’s okay — you’re certainly not alone. But Withrow encourages marketers, especially content writers, to embrace that.

“I personally love to lean into the weirdness of talking to a machine,” she said.

It’s truly stranger, as they say, than [science] fiction.

from Marketing

10 Ecommerce Trends to Expect in 2018

According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to increase 246.15% by 2021, from 1.3 trillion in 2014 to 4.5 trillion in 2021.

The ecommerce industry is booming and shows no signs of slowing down.

Nowadays, stores can’t compete without offering excellent ecommerce options, and 56% of in-store purchases are influenced by digital commerce. This means, if you aren’t reaching your customers online, you could be losing half of your potential revenue.

With ecommerce’s rapid growth, comes rapid changes. It isn’t enough to post product images to your site and hope your ideal customers will find them. In 2018, there’s a whole lineup of new trends that could kickstart major growth for your ecommerce company if you pay attention.

To help you reap the many benefits of ecommerce in 2018 and into the future, we’ve chosen the top 10 trends we think will change how people buy and sell online.

1. Shopping Natively

In an experiment we ran in 2017, we found our Facebook audience favored native video content 160x more than non-native content.

That same preference for native content is true with ecommerce: there are great visual platforms being used by millions of people already, like Instagram and Pinterest, and a lot of those users don’t want to leave the platform to visit your site. So why not offer the option of purchasing your products from within those apps?

A great example of native shopping is Pinterest’s Shop the Look feature. When you see a picture of an outfit you like, you can click any part of the outfit you’re interested in purchasing, and find details about the item of clothing within the Pinterest app. You only need to exit the app when you’re ready to purchase (you can also pin it and return to it later).

2. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

You know what’s even better than seeing a product in-store before purchasing?

Seeing it in your home before purchasing.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are going to gain some serious traction in 2018. Eventually, it will become standard for companies to offer AR and VR options.

Houzz, a home design and interior decorator company, found AR made their consumers 11x more likely to purchase a product, and also kept them in the app 2.7x longer.

IKEA also offers an AR app that lets you place 3D products in your home. These products are true-to-scale, so you can see whether the product will fit and how it’ll look in your space.

Ultimately, these added benefits are worth the initial investment in new technology. As ecommerce grows, consumers are going to buy from companies that allow them the option of visually testing out products before purchase.

3. Automation and Chatbots for Online Ordering

With 1.3 billion people on Facebook Messenger, it makes sense to take advantage of chatbots for marketing, customer service, and sales.

With ecommerce, you can take it a step further.

Domino’s uses its Messenger bot, Dom, for full-menu ordering. The implications of this are huge: when fast and simple are priorities for consumers, Domino’s will beat out all the competition.

Plus, chatbot ordering is an opportunity for Domino’s to cater to its audience in a new way, proving itself to be a helpful and forward-thinking company.

If it makes sense for your business, I’d suggest creating a chatbot like Dom while it’s still an open field. In a few years, this could become a mainstream way of ordering, and lose some of its current novelty power.

4. Voice Search Compatabilities

As Amazon Echo, Google Home, and other voice-activated devices grow in popularity, voice search will become the preferred method of search. 40% of millennials are already using voice search before making an online purchase.

It’s critical to optimize your business for voice search in 2018, or you could lose the vast majority of consumers who choose to shop through voice-activated devices.

Walmart made it possible for consumers to order any of their items by voice on the Google Express, and in the future, they’re going to allow consumers to place in-store pickup orders via Google Home. Target, Costco, Kohl’s, Staples, Walgreens and many other stores are in the process of creating similar options for consumers.

Since voice search is 3x more likely to be local, it’s also important to ensure your business listing is updated on Google to reach those local searchers (with accurate hours, an up-to-date address, photos and reviews, etc.).

5. Mobile Primary, Desktop Secondary

62% of smartphone users have made an online purchase on their mobile device within the last six months. As mobile purchasing continues to grow, it’s important to create an ecommerce site that’s optimized for mobile.

Fingerprint and facial recognition technology, as well as one-click payments, will simplify mobile payments and further encourage consumers to switch from desktop to mobile. Mobile will soon become the preferred payment method for ecommerce transactions. It’s estimated that mobile will reach 70% of ecommerce traffic by the end of this year alone.

Starbucks created a Mobile Order and Pay app in 2015. By 2017, 30% of all Starbucks orders were paid via mobile. Starbucks said their Mobile Order and Pay app is so popular, it creates congestion in stores and extra-long wait lines, which they’re attempting to solve by hiring more baristas. If mobile ordering leads to a larger pool of in-store consumers, I’m thinking it’s a worthwhile investment.

6. ROPO (“Research Online, Purchase Offline”)

It can be tricky to track how your digital efforts translate to offline sales.

Luckily, ROPO (“research online, purchase offline”) is a tool that will become more advanced and reliable in the upcoming year, and can help retailers accurately measure how well their digital ads are contributing to in-store sales.

ROPO combines information from social media, mobile tracking/geolocation, mobile payments, in-store inventory, analytics tools, CRM systems, and more, to figure out which ads and site pages led consumers to in-store purchases.

This is invaluable information. By knowing which digital ads are most efficiently contributing to sales, ecommerce businesses can create higher-conversion, more targeted campaigns, and feel confident that what they’re doing online is meaningful to their consumers.

7. Machine Learning and AI

You come across machine learning and AI every day. You just might not realize it.

Take Netflix: rather than dividing viewers by age, location, or gender, Netflix created 1,300 “taste communities.” Netflix makes recommendations on similar movie or TV show preferences based on what’s most popular for the viewers in that community. This is the future of machine learning.

Other ecommerce platforms will soon see personal benefits from using machine learning and algorithms to uncover which content they should deliver to which audience. In the future, content will be divided by machine learning and AI, so consumers are fed only the content (or products), they’re most interested in.

8. Image Search

Picture this: you’re in a store and see a beautiful couch but don’t feel like paying full price, so you take a picture of it and use eBay’s image search to find similar products for a better deal.

As ecommerce transitions to mobile, companies will begin offering options to visually search for products by using personal photos, or photos found online. It’s estimated that image and voice search will make up 50% of all searches by 2020.

Since image search offers opportunities to find similar products at a cheaper price online, it could eventually drive consumers to shop online even if they started in a physical store.

A few ecommerce businesses have already successfully implemented image search functions into their online platforms. Pinterest, for example, has its own image search function. On Pinterest, you can zoom in on an object in a Pin image and find similar objects. Target will eventually integrate this same technology (“Lens”) to allow consumers to search an image and find similar products in Target’s online catalog.

9. High-Quality Product Videos

Even when consumers are online, they’re still going to have the same questions about a product’s functionality and design that they’d have in-store. To compete in ecommerce, you’re going to have to answer all their questions digitally, and one of the easiest ways to do that is through video.

A high-quality video addressing your product’s design and function is one of the best ways to sell your product. Your video can appeal to your consumer’s emotions, persuading them more convincingly than text.

Redsbaby, an Australian baby stroller company, does a great job of this. Their videos of baby strollers display actors using Redsbaby strollers throughout a “typical day,” so consumers can feel confident that they understand what they’re purchasing, despite having never seen it in-store.

10. Same-Day or Next-Day Delivery

Last year, Amazon opened a ton of new shipping centers near major cities so they could promise same-day delivery to Amazon Prime customers. TechCrunch reported that Google will launch a competitor same-day delivery service, “Google Shopping Express.” Google Shopping Express will offer same-day delivery from stores like Walmart and Target.

As these big-name ecommerce sites offer same-day delivery, they’ll win out with the majority of consumers who want their needs met, fast. As it becomes the norm, people will become comfortable paying extra for same-day delivery.

If you don’t give consumers the option of same-day or next-day delivery, they’ll turn to competitors who will.

from Marketing

The Definition of SEO in 100 Words or Less [FAQs]

Search engine optimization (SEO) seems pretty straightforward. You pick a few keywords, and voilà! Your page is optimized for SEO, right?

Not yet.

Many people understand the basic principles of SEO, but a lot has changed in the last decade. Free Interactive Lesson: How to Find the SEO Strategy that Fits Your Business

The SEO that we know and love today is not the same SEO that we knew and loved (or hated) 10 years ago. And that’s why SEO is something marketers should continue to define, and redefine. Here’s a brief definition in under 100 words:

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization — that much has stayed the same. It refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes your website more visible to people who are looking for solutions that your brand, product, or service can provide via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

What hasn’t stayed the same are the techniques we use to improve our rankings. This has everything to do with the search algorithms that these companies constantly change.

Here are some other frequently asked questions about this critical practice today.

Looking deeper: There are a ton of ways to improve the SEO of your site pages, though. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links (also known as backlinks). And that’s just to name a few.

HubSpot customers: you can check out the SEO panel in your HubSpot account to see how well you’re optimized for those things.

Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in their SERPs.

Looking deeper: In present-day SEO, you can’t simply include as many keywords as possible to reach the people who are searching for you. In fact, this will actually hurt your website’s SEO because search engines will recognize it as keyword stuffing — or the act of including keywords specifically to rank for that keyword, rather than to answer a person’s question.

Nowadays, you should use your keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced. There isn’t a magic number — it all depends on the length of your keyword and article — but if you feel like you’re forcing it, it’s better to ignore it and continue writing naturally.

Looking deeper: Before you create a new site page or blog post, you’ll probably be thinking about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. That’s alright, but it shouldn’t be your only focus — or even your primary focus. Whenever you create content, your focus should be on the intent of your audience, not how many times you can include a keyword (whether it’s long tail or short tail) in your content.

To satisfy intent and rank well in the long term, build your SEO marketing strategy around topics, not keywords. If you do that, you’ll find you can naturally optimize for important keywords, anyway. Understanding your target audience (aka buyer personas) and what interests them is key to attracting relevant visitors to your website through search engines.

Looking deeper: One of the biggest changes in the last decade is the way other user behaviors shape the SERPs a user sees on search engines. And today, social media can have a big impact on your organic traffic trend line. Even just a few years ago, it didn’t make a difference who was finding your content through social search. But now SEO takes into account tweets, retweets, Google+ authorship, and other social signals.

Social search also prioritizes content and people that are connected to you. That could mean through a Facebook friend, Twitter follower, or connection through another social network. Sometimes social search will even prioritize content that has been shared by an influencer. Social search understands that you may be interested in content that your network feels is important to share, and therefore it’ll often get surfaced to you.

This all means when you’re thinking about your SEO strategy, you need to think about how your social media strategy fits into the puzzle, too.

Looking deeper: Think of search engine optimization as “search experience optimization.” It’s not just important for your users to find your website — it’s important for them to stay on your website, interact with your content, and come back later. Direct traffic doesn’t just increase your “page authority” in the eyes of Google; it creates more opportunities to turn someone, who first discovered you organically, into a customer.

SEO actually takes into account whether or not your visitors are staying on your website and engaging with other content. If you rank well for a keyword and attract a visitor who isn’t relevant, it won’t actually help your website.

Think about your visitors and the content they are looking for more than how many people you can attract to your website.

Looking deeper: In the past, SEO success was measured by whether or not you were ranked high on the first page of Google. But even if you ranked well for a term, does that actually mean you’re going to see results?

Not always. You might rank really well for terms that aren’t ideal for your business. So you appear high on search engines, get a ton of traffic, but then your website visitors realize your company isn’t what they were looking for. You don’t convert customers from this traffic, and ranking high for this particular keyword is essentially fruitless.

Also, you don’t necessarily need to be in the top three slots to be successful. In fact, if you rank well on subsequent pages, you may still have a high clickthrough rate, albeit less traffic. That’s great news for marketers who can’t seem to bring pages into those top slots or off the second page.

We said it before and we’ll say it again: The amount of traffic to your page is less important than how qualified that traffic is.

Looking deeper: An SEO cost can mean one of two things: the investment in your organic search strategy, or how much you pay for paid search engine marketing (SEM) services like Google AdWords. If you’re paying for a tool, consultant, or marketing agency to help you optimize your web content, your bill can vary wildly with the depth of the services you’re receiving.

Yes, $10,000 sounds scary, but 40% of businesses today are actually spending less than $1,000 a month on SEO.

Looking deeper: You can actually pay for top rankings on Google SERPs by registering for a free account on Google AdWords. You’ll then select various keywords you’d like to rank under, and pay Google each time a user clicks on your result. This is called PPC search engine marketing, and your ads will be noticeably different in their appearance than the organic results below them.

The average cost of a paid search campaign on Google can be less than $1 per click, but, naturally, the more popular the keyword, the more you might pay.

It’s still the same thing it was 10 years ago — a bunch of tactics that, if you employ them, will help you rank better in search engines. It’s just the tactics we now use that have changed.

It’s up to us to stay on top of the rapidly changing trends, and remember that ultimately, the goal of search engines is to deliver the best experience possible to their end-user — searchers. If you keep that goal in mind with your SEO strategy, you’ll find your choices pay off, even if you’re not totally up to date on every single nuance of search engine algorithms.

seo myths 2018


from Marketing

Here’s Mark Zuckerberg’s Statement on the Cambridge Analytica Situation

After several days of silence, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has finally issued an official statement on the misuse of user data by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

The statement is of particular interest to the many people who have wondered why the two Facebook executives with the greatest name recognition — Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — remained silent on the situation since the news first broke last Friday evening. 

On Tuesday, a representative for Facebook issued a statement to the Daily Beast that “Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward.”

Finally, this afternoon, Zuckerberg posted an official written statement on his Facebook Page, where he opened with:

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.”

Zuckerberg’s Timeline of Events

In the statement, he provided an outline of events leading up the recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s possession of the user data, which we covered in-depth here. Here’s a quick timeline of his account:

2007: The Facebook Platform is launched.

2013: A Cambridge University professor named Aleksandr Kogan develops a personality quiz app that was installed by roughly 300,000 Facebook users, allowing the app developers to access their data and their friends’ data. At the time, Facebook allowed this activity.

2014: Facebook institutes new rules changing the way apps can capture and use member data.

2015: The Guardian reports that Kogan shared data with Cambridge Analytica, which violated Facebook’s rules about the transfer of user data to third parties. In the months following, Facebook “demanded” the deletion of any user data in Kogan’s or Cambridge Analytica’s possession, as well as certification that it had been destroyed.

2018: The Guardian, New York Times, and British television Channel 4 all produce reports indicating that Cambridge Analytica may not have destroyed the user data, even though it provided Facebook with certification that it had done so.

How Zuckerberg Says Facebook Will Fix This

While Zuckerberg’s statement does claim that Facebook “already took the most important steps” to prevent the misuse of personal user data in 2014, he also admitted that “there’s more we need to do.” The solution, he says, exists in three key steps.

1. “Investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information.”

This applies to the apps that were able to access personal user data before Facebook changed its rules in 2014. It will also include an investigation of “any app with suspicious activity,” and app developers that do not consent to an investigation or audit will be banned, as will those who are discovered to have abused user data.

2. “Restrict developers’ data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse.”

For this step, Zuckerberg says that if a user hasn’t engaged with an app in three months, the developers’ access to it will be revoked. Plus, Facebook will limit the data these apps can access to the user’s name, profile photo, and email address. Developers requesting access to this data will have to sign a contract and receive approval — more changes here are expected as the story continues to unfold.

3. “We want to make sure you understand which apps you’ve allowed to access your data.”

Within the next month, Zuckerberg says Facebook will roll out an app dashboard of sorts appearing at the top of the News Feed, which will display all of the apps someone has used, along with a simplified method of revoking their access to personal data. According to the statement, that feature is already available in user privacy settings, but now, Facebook will make it more visible and easier to access. 

The full text of Zuckerberg’s statement is below.

This is a developing story that I’ll be monitoring as it unfolds. Questions? Feel free to weigh in on Twitter.

from Marketing

Unriddled: A Ban on Self-Driving Cars, Drama at Facebook, and More Tech News You Need

Welcome one, welcome all to Wednesday: the day that marks not just the week’s halfway point, but another edition of “Unriddled”: the HubSpot Marketing Blog’s mid-week digest of the tech news you need to know.

This week, we’re slowly emerging from our taco-induced food comas to help you figure out just what the heck is happening in the tech world. That Facebook-Cambridge-Analytica drama, for instance? Yeah, we’ve got you covered.

It’s our Wednesday tech news roundup, and we’re breaking it down.

Unriddled: The Tech News You Need

1. Cambridge Analytica May Have Taken Advantage of Personal Facebook User Data It Said It Deleted

Last Friday night, Facebook published an official statement saying it had banned Cambridge Analytica: a data analytics firm that creates psychographic models to help clients shape messaging to influence the decisions of consumers and, potentially, voters.

It first came to light in 2015 that the firm had misused personal data that it acquired in accordance with Facebook’s policies at the time, by having users download an app that allowed analysts to scrape such behavioral data as Page, comment, and post likes, as well as similar information on each user’s friends.

And while that activity didn’t violate Facebook’s then-policies, the fact that the developer transferred the data to Cambridge Analytica did. While Facebook claims it received certification at the time that Cambridge Analytica destroyed the data, allegations are now circulating that the firm actually used the data to help develop messaging on behalf of the Trump campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

It’s a story that continues to unfold and develop at an impressive rate — read our full coverage here.

2. Among the Chaos, Facebook Is Also Rolling out a Video Monetization System

It’s true: Using Facebook to monetize videos is probably the last thing on most people’s minds right now, even the content creators who could stand to benefit from it.

But despite all of the other news circulating around the network, it was announced this week that Facebook will be rolling out a new feature next month that allows followers to send content creators a certain amount of money each month for benefits like exclusive content or special profile badges that indicate they support a given creator.

It’s a model that works similarly to Patreon, in which users can sign up to donate a certain amount to an account each month and, in many cases, get exclusive access to special photos and videos in return.

However, instead of allowing users to choose an amount to donate each month, it will work as a subscription that costs $4.99 each month. Facebook says it won’t take any portion of the monthly subscription cost.

The rollout seems to align with the purpose behind many content-related decisions Facebook has made in recent years: to keep users and creators on Facebook by sharing native content, rather than external sites. It also comes at a time when, overall, Facebook use is down — an aggregate drop of about 50 million hours each day.

By encouraging creators to continue using the platform by way of monetization, Facebook appears to be working toward a solution that could draw in new audiences — for example, users who follow a certain creator or personality on YouTube would, ideally, now also follow and support that same creator on Facebook. 

It also comes on the heels of changes from YouTube that make it more difficult for creators to monetize videos: a shift on which Facebook may be attempting to capitalize with this new feature.

3. Wikipedia Wasn’t Told of YouTube’s Plans to Use Its Information for Conspiracy Videos

During last week’s SXSW events, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said the video-sharing platform will be adding topical information to videos about conspiracies, in order to provide additional information around controversial topics.

The source of this information: Wikipedia. 

While already facing the issue that Wikipedia is thought by many to be a less-than-reliable source of information (to the point where many academic institutions don’t allow students to cite it as a resource), there was another problem: Wojcicki’s announcement at SXSW was the first Wikipedia heard of it.

The problem with that, explained Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Katherine Maher, “the community’s work is already monetized without the commensurate or in-kind support that is critical to our sustainability.”

The organization also issued a formal statement on the issue, pointing out that it was “not given advance notice of this announcement,” while also noting that volunteer contributors compose and edit Wikipedia entries without oversight, often leaving them subject to misinformation. The use of such information to clarify content around conspiracies, for that reason, is particularly risky.

There’s been little additional information or comment on the development since then, but we’ll be keeping an eye on how it progresses.

4. Twitter Might Ban Cryptocurrency Ads Soon

Over the past few weeks, Facebook and Google have both announced that they will be banning any ads pertaining to cryptocurrency on their respective sites. Facebook was the first to do so, by changing its advertising policies to disallow promoted content around “binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency” — largely in an effort to help curb scams.

A number of social networks still have not enforced similar bans, including Snapchat and Twitter, though some expect the latter to follow suit soon. 

According to Sky News, the new rules will roll out within the next two weeks, and will likely ban “advertisements for initial coin offerings (ICOs), token sales, and cryptocurrency wallets globally.”

In January, Twitter announced that it would be working to curb finance-related ads that were designed to mislead or deceive users about certain promotions.

5. After Fatal Events, Uber Has Indefinitely Paused the Testing of Autonomous Vehicles

Earlier this week, a woman in Tempe, Arizona was struck and killed by one of Uber’s self-driving cars. At the time of the incident, the vehicle was in its “autonomous mode,” though there was also a human safety operator behind the wheel.

The incident raises concerns about the safety of what’s still a relatively emerging technology. Autonomous vehicles are equipped with human operators to override the system when the car doesn’t function as it’s supposed to. In this case, it wasn’t enough to prevent a fatal event.

There are still no details about how this happened, and the investigation is ongoing.

It was one of, if not the first incident of a self-driving car hitting a pedestrian — though it’s not the first accident to take place with an autonomous vehicle, nor is it the first for Uber. Last March, also in Tempe, one of Uber’s self-driving cars flipped onto its side when another vehicle, driven by a human, failed to yield to it.

What Else Is Going Down in Tech Town?

This Is How You Tell a Story

While “brand activation” may sound like a buzzword that means nothing, once in a while, it works. Here’s what we learned from three brands at SXSW — about experiential marketing and storytelling alike. Read full story >>

Is Google Home Psychic?

Probably not — but it does have a weird, yet fun app that can guess which fictional character you’re thinking of. Here’s what happened when we tried it. Read full story >>

A Brief Guide to #Winning at Social Media

In a world rife with the fake news effect and distrust, it’s hard to stand out on social media, especially in a way that stands out or truly helps your audience. In these troubled times, here’s what three experts at SXSW say you should do. Read full story >>

That’s all for today. Until next week, feel free to weigh in on Twitter to ask us your tech news questions, or to let us know what kind of events and topics you’d like us to cover.

from Marketing